July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Liberal Education/Engineering & Society
Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), an educational technique that uses art to foster visual literacy through facilitated group discussion, has been shown to promote the development of skills that transfer to other domains. In this paper, we report findings from our use of VTS in an experimental graduate course in environmental engineering that aims to foster students’ capacities for reflection. Using data from writing samples with methods of thematic analysis, we explore students’ perceptions of their own learning from the VTS portion of this semester-long course called Developing Reflective Engineers through Artful Methods. One significant theme identified was “Knowledge/Skills”, in which students identified specific knowledge gained or skills developed through their VTS experience, including skills of group discussion, listening/ paraphrasing, observation, imagination/creativity, and critical thinking. Another key theme identified was “Appreciating Others’ Perspectives”, in which students expressed appreciation of the differences in perspective that VTS discussions tend naturally to draw out. This finding highlights the potential of VTS as a tool for promoting and supporting diversity in engineering. Based on these data and a brief, associated survey, we learned that students found VTS to be highly effective at helping them become more reflective and was one of the most effective methods we have attempted for the development of reflective thinking in graduate engineering.
Campbell, R. C., & Nguyen, N. T., & Kim, J., & Duke, L. A., & Taraban, R., & Reible, D. D. (2021, July), Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) for Promoting Reflection in Engineering Education: Graduate Student Perceptions Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/38032
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